Categories: Content

Creating Killer Copy

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If there’s a single skill you need to flourish as a Dan Kennedy style “Direct Response Marketer” it’s the ability to either write sales copy OR at least be able to recognize good copy.

If this sounds daunting, don’t worry – the templates we’ve provided in this article give you a massive advantage over your competitors… most of which have absolutely ZERO clue about how to tell a brochure that sucks wind from a sales letter that will generate HUGE returns.

This week we’re going to cover some of the foundational principles of direct response copywriting – AND give you a toolkit of resources you can go back to and use over and again whenever you need to write any kind of sales piece.

Okay, let’s go through the core steps to creating Killer Copy!

Step 1: Know Your Prospect


You need to know your prospect's wants, desires, fears, pain and more. Most businesses will skip over this step and plow ahead without having done ANY serious thinking about who they're marketing to. Do NOT make this mistake!

Step 2: Create a FACT SHEET

Again, this is what we did a few weeks back when creating your offer / WIDGET. You want to go long and detailed about everything that’s included in that offer… the more you know about it the easier it will be to lay out to the reader why it matters so much to them.

Step 3: Create a Benefit List

Here’s what a lot of entry-level writers miss when writing copy… and sadly, more than the lion’s share of experienced business owners and marketers as well. They stop with simply listing the features of the product… thinking that features alone, piled high one upon the other, will provide sufficient evidence to close the sale.

Not a chance. No one cares about the minute details of a drill bit – how it was forged by master craftsmen in sterile foundries using only the finest alloys of tungsten steel… no one cares… until you tell how big a hole it’ll make.

Step 4: Write Down Your Killer Offer

See a trend emerging….? We’ve already put you on the path to becoming a killer copywriter just by walking you through the proper sequence. Again, you have to create an awesome offer that eliminates all hesitation and demolishes all barriers to buying.

Make it so good even YOU can’t resist it. That’s how good your offer needs to be. Crazy, insanely good.

Step 5: Write Down Lots of Headlines

Don’t settle for the first headline you create. Keep writing and writing and writing. Here’s a quick list of ten rules for writing a headline:

  • Make it BIG and BOLD. The bigger and bolder the better.
  • DO NOT USE ALL CAPS FOR THE ENTIRE HEADLINE. It makes it difficult to read. Capitalizing the first letter of every word has been proven to be effective.
  • “Quotation marks around the headline” have been shown to increase response.
  • Both long and short headlines work well as long as they “speak” to your prospects’ interest.
  • Write headlines in a National Enquirer style. If you don’t get the National Enquirer every week, you should. It includes some of the best copywriting and headlines on the entire planet. Don’t tell me that your customers are too sophisticated for you to use this strategy or that it doesn’t fit your “image”. You can’t deposit image in the bank. This style of writing works. Model it.
  • Don’t be cute or try to be clever. If your prospect has to guess what your advertisement or letter is about after they read your headline, it sucks.
  • Don’t talk about how great you are. Speak to your prospects’ interests and desires.
  • Don’t try to “trick” your prospect into reading your ad or letter. “FREE SEX!” as a headline will certainly get attention, but you’re just going to anger your prospect when they continue reading and find out that you are trying to sell them something completely different.
  • Do NOT send out or hand out any piece of printed material that does not have a headline. Ever.
  • Your name as a headline is no good. Don’t use your name or your company’s name as a headline.

Step 6: Choose a Template and Write the First Draft

Having a template is critical. We’re going to give you several here that you can start using right away.

The reason for having a template is simple: it eliminates the fear associated with facing a blank page and instead lets you just “fill-in-the-blanks” to create your letter. You have a clear path to follow.

When you do so, here’s a key tip: Write as fast as you can. Writing fast means you write like you talk and then gives your copy power and makes it sound real.

Okay, here are some proven sales letter formulas that you can follow and use. These are great to consider for all kinds of sales letters. Save them and use them.

Sales Letter Formula #1:

  1. Headline
  2. Opening Paragraph
  3. State your Unique Selling Proposition
  4. List reasons to believe what you say
  5. List benefits of the program (bullet points)
  6. Testimonials from Happy Customers
  7. Set the buying criteria (Warning: Don’t Hire____ Unless They Meet the following # criteria!)
  8. Give the Price
  9. List the Bonuses
  10. Guarantee
  11. Call to Action (Here’s what you do next)
  12. P.S.

Sales Letter Formula #2

  1. PreHead to identify WHO Program is for
  2. Attention Getting Headline that makes BIG Promise
  3. Sub-Head that Explains Promise
  4. State the Problem
  5. Agitate the Problem
  6. Solve the Problem
  7. Describe Offer in Detail
  8. Offer
  9. Bullets of benefits
  10. Answer Objections
  11. State Price
  12. Give Guarantee
  13. Give Reason to Act NOW (Scarcity, Deadline, etc.)
  14. Call to Action (do this now!)
  15. Warn them of the pain they’ll experience if they don’t act
  16. P.S. Reiterate why you need to act NOW

Sales Letter Formula #3

  1. PreHead to identify WHO Program is for
  2. Attention Getting Headline that makes BIG Promise
  3. Sub-Head that Explains Promise
  4. Create Instant Credibility with Testimonials
  5. Build interest by describing why you’re making this promise
  6. More Testimonials that prove you get the results promised
  7. Explain Why You’re Giving such a Great Deal
  8. Identify the FREE Fast-Action Bonuses
  9. Describe your Guarantee
  10. Demand Immediate action by stating scarcity or deadline
  11. Remind them what they’ll lose by NOT acting now
  12. Call to Action (do this now!)
  13. PS Tossing in one FINAL Fast Action Bonus

Step 7: Let the Copy Rest

Put the copy you’ve written aside for a day or two. Don’t try to edit it now. You’re too close to it. Let it sit a few days. Go do something completely different – this allows your subconscious some space to ponder what you’ve written without you paying attention. That’s a good thing.

Step 8: Read it aloud

This is a huge tip. Read what you’ve written aloud. It will absolutely help you discover all kinds of typos, spelling errors, glitches in logic, etc.

Step 9: Final Proof/Edit

Rewrite it based on what you’ve found. Smooth over transitions. Fix typos. Make it flow.

Also… here’s where you would review and edit to add serious punch to your bullet points. Bullet points are basically mini-headlines that relate to specific features and benefits of your program. As such, many of the same templates and basic structures used for headlines apply and can be used with bullet points.

Source: Dan Kennedy


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